Opinion: Mark Hunter would be the wrong GM hire for the Columbus Blue Jackets

The Blue Jackets continue their search for a new General Manager. We have seen plenty of speculation that Mark Hunter could be at the top of their list, but I think he's the wrong choice.
2016 NHL Draft - Round One
2016 NHL Draft - Round One / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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If you're looking at potential general manager candidates for the Blue Jackets, there are plenty of obvious names to list.

The most obvious name may be London Knights GM (and part owner) Mark Hunter. The connections between Columbus and London are just too many to overlook.

First, right at the top of the list, is the director of player personnel for the Blue Jackets: Basil McRae. He is also part owner of the Knights, and clearly has a well-established relationship with the Hunter family.

Second, the lone jersey hanging in the rafters belongs to the team's storied #61 - Rick Nash. Rick was the very first pick the Hunters made at their first OHL priority draft after buying the team in 2000.

There are plenty of other reasons the team may consider Hunter as their next GM. Indeed, he has done a terrific job keeping the London Knights competitive.

In fact, the Knights have not had a sub-.500 season since 2001-02 - a run that is nothing short of remarkable in junior hockey, where entire rosters turn over every 3-4 years. From an overall success perspective, Hunter makes a lot of sense.

But, I have to point out that all of this success has come at the junior level. At the NHL level, he has not had the same level of success to this point.

Mark was named director of player development for the Toronto Maple Leafs, a position he held for just shy of four years. Notably, he was in charge of their drafts - which wound up being very slim on talent for the Leafs when it was all said and done.

Now, I have to say that it's unfair to judge him solely on the one position he's held at the NHL executive level. Especially since it was in an environment that demanded a winning team right away. That's not why I think he's the wrong fit for our job.

Let's dig further into my reasoning on the next page.